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Friday, February 08, 2008

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Phillie, Phillie, Phillie! Oy! Oy! Oy!

I'm going to Outback tonight!!!

Seriously though, Brad Harmon doesn't look to have much upside in my opinion. Blackley may just surprise in spring and earn a spot in the bullpen...doubt it though.

Carson - while you're dashing all our Australian hopes, you got any opinions on Naylor?

Best. Blog. Ever. - Comic Book Guy from Simpsons

Blackley is the equalizer for Santana, look out......

Naylor? Hardly know her...

Seriously though, Drew Naylor seems like a decent prospect. I could see him in the rotation in 2010.

I like that Naylor has good control and hardly gives up the long ball.

I believe I AM that intern that just refreshed beerleaguer...

I like Harmon.

The fact that we're discussing Brad Harmon and Drew Naylor is a sure sign that spring training needs to get here soon.

I like hot dogs.

I'm with you on that one bap. I just need to start watching some players actually play baseball rather than just talk about it.

b-a-p:
Brad Harmon?

I thought we were talkin' 'bout Angie.

Anyone know how many college nights there are this year? Better yet, any where the mets are in town?

I don't know if y'all have see Zo's Zone in the past day or so, but there's a great photo accompanying the Benson heading. I've never seen an Orioles' jacket look quite that good.

In regards to Benson:

I would do things to her that would put you all in jail just for knowing I did them.

In regards to Kris Benson:

Nice flier. No problems from me. Hell of a family.

Sorry for the double, but doesn't it mildly distrub anybody else that Kris is actually, and maybe this has been said before, but is a shock for me, is actually short for Kristin?

So I'd like to get some votes on this:

Arynne Tiller (Blackley's g/f), Heidi Strobel (Cole's wife), or Anna Benson?

And let me just say that if benson is inked, the phillies could make millions off a "Girls of the Phils" (or something like that) calendar.

Elliot then lets have those millions to sign some more pitchers.

Uhhh, I'll take Utley's wife

I'll take Chase Utley's wife over all three of them.

If eaton is healthy and Benson works out, does it make sense to move Moyer to the Pen as a loogy or a setup guy. Imagine facing Moyer in the 7/8th and Lidge's fast ball in the 9th.

Buster olney is saying Mets will only Sign Loshe is he signs for below market value

Maybe the Phils are waiting him out????

Okay, here's something off-topic but I think could be fun. The Reds discussion gave me the idea in the previous post. Actually, it's a takeoff of something I've seen on CBS-Sportsline. Fix a franchise.

The idea is, I pick a franchise that's in dire need of an overall, because they're in last place. Then you guys post whatever your plans are to fix the team in question.

In this case, let's start with Kris Benson's old team, Baltimore. And I should tell you I just got a text message from the Sports Radio Network down here that Bedard was just traded to the Mariners for Adam Jones and 4 pitching prospects (didn't say whom).

So, any takers?

Rich get richer if the Mets sign Lohse. Mets will have pitching depth the Phils can only dream about. Hell, even if Pedro goes down then they still have some answers. Same can't be said for the Phils if Hamels does (knock on wood, cross fingers, rub rabbit's foot).

It will really disgust me if Lohse gets signed for a 2-yr/$15-18 M deal though. Where is the downside for the Phils in a deal like that (besides a potential hit on the profit side which will be covered if they make the playoffs again).

Why can't the Phils make this happen? Settle with Howard for less than $10M by going to $8.5M and find whatever way they can to unload Helm's salary ($3M). Hell, throw a team a prospect if they take Helms salary. If you save that $4.5 M there you only need to make a slightly bigger commitment this year to pay for Lohse's salary.

This is why the Phils' management are second-class. Not because they are conversative but because they always take the middling approach that prevents them from putting a better product on the field (and in this would potentially maximize there profits for this year and next with a little more risk).

slocs: Those are a couple of serious "Ifs" but Moyer in the bullpen is not the craziest idea I've ever heard. Given his age & his second half performance last year, I have some serious doubts that he's going to be of much use as a starter this year. But his soft stuff might actually be very effective after the opposing hitters have been looking at 90+ MPH fastballs all game.

Of course, we have no idea how he'd feel about pitching out of the bullpen and, in any case, the idea only works if we have 5 other competent starters. As of now, I only see 3 competent starters aside from Moyer.

The fact that we're discussing Brad Harmon and Drew Naylor is a sure sign that spring training needs to get here soon.

b-a-p: What about the fact that we're discussing the players' wives and girlfriends?

Easter's early this year; lunar (Chinese) new year is early; daylight savings time is always too early. Why can't they move pitchers and catchers up to, like, tomorrow or something?

b-a-p: I remember watching Doug Jones be startlingly effective in relief for the A's a few years back. He'd just soft-toss to the hitters, who'd swing about four times by the time the ball got to the plate. (In case you're wondering that's an exaggeration.)

Godfather - one of the pitchers is George Sherril, a 30 yr-old, pretty good LH reliever.

On your other question, Gf:
If I were the Orioles and wanted seriously to improve my record (looking at their 40 man roster here), I'd petition the commisioner's office to allow me to change the team to a AAA. Then play with those players in the International League.

Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, George Sherrill, Tony Butler, and Kam Mickolio

I would go hard after George Sherrill just acquired by Baltimore. He would be perfect in our bullpen. A hard-throwing lefty who strikes lots of guys out.

A perfect loogy

Now, Roberts to the Cubs for Sean Gallagher and a couple of other guys. You look at this trade and you realize there is no way the Phils could have matched this offer.

Possible Phills signing coming soon? Rotoworld is reporting Benson is working out for teams on Saturday, but will the Phills sign him now before his price tag rises (if at all)?

Slocs:
Don't you mean Roberts to the Cubs for Sean Gallagher and a couple of dudes?

I prefer Heidi Strobel-Hamels over Anna Benson. Benson has huge assets, but Heidi is the total package.

Now back to baseball...oh wait, nothing really to report.

If Kris Benson is signed, I make a pledge to allow Kris Benson and Cole Hamels handle the strikes, while their wifes handle the balls.

As for signing Benson, please note that the Phils characteristically operate at a snail's pace. Every potential FA signing has been a protracted ordeal with built in redundancy. How many times have they seen Benson work out (answer: 3 times)? When you dither as long as Gillick, you often get beat out by more decisive competitors.

Sherrill is more than just a LOOGY, righties couldn't hit him last year either. I think the Os buck the RH closer trend and use Sherrill over Bradford/Huey/Walker.

In re: Arynne Tiller; Heidi Strobel; Anna Benson; and Utley's wife

I'd have to meet them and get to know them. After all, we mostly value women for their personality, intellect and emotional stability, right?

I was wondering fans of the 2007 NL East Champions think of this:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7773614/Forgotten-Braves-figure-in-thick-of-East-race

I don't want Joe Blanton or AJ Burnett. Trading for either one would help us in 2008, but hurt us over the long-term. They're solid #3 starters, with lower ceilings than the prospects we'd sacrifice obtaining them. Regardless, I'd argue that the Phils already have AJ Burnetts and Joe Blantons in their rotation.

Over his 3 year MLB career, Joe Blanton has pitched 633 innings, in which he allowed 665 hits, while striking out 369. Blanton has a good 4.10 ERA in a pitcher's park, for a solid defensive team bolstered by a good bullpen.

Joe Blanton has mediocre stuff, but he keeps his team in games by pitching down in the strike zone. Blanton doesn't miss many bats, but he's consistent competitor with solid command. Sound like anyone on the Phillies? Blanton probably throws harder, but Kendrick supposedly got stronger over the offseason and added a few mph to his fastball.

AJ Burnett is a headcase, who occasionally gets wild with his great stuff. He gets ahead of hitters with a 96mph four seamer with nice movement, and strikes them out with a hard curve. Sounds a lot like Brett Myers to me...

Not that the Phils couldn't use another Myers or Kendrick, but they simply aren't good enough to justify their high price tags. Drabek, Carrasco and Savery have the potential to be as good as those guys or better, and we'd probably give up all three, or an equivalent value, in a trade for Burnett or Blanton.

Andy - Thank you for that... I think the idea of her juicing up has effectively balanced out the earlier conversation about wives/ significant others.

Are any beerleaguers attending ST (i.e. will we be getting some first hand reports?)

*GAGS, THEN HURLS*

We'll see, MUTS.

Chris Roberson has been designated for assignment by the Orioles today. I guess this was done to make room on their 40 man roster for some of the players they got from the M's in the Bedard trade? Does this mean that there is a chance we will see Roberson as a Phillie again?

filz - I'd trade Helms for Roberson even steven.

I could never date, much less marry, a girl who was on Survivor. Utley's wife, though, seems to have some modicum of class.

Deutsche Phan - I'll be down there from March 14th-17th, catching the Twins and Braves games. I'll probably bring my laptop to send a few updates.

"I don't want Joe Blanton or AJ Burnett. Trading for either one would help us in 2008, but hurt us over the long-term. They're solid #3 starters, with lower ceilings than the prospects we'd sacrifice obtaining them."

Baxter, I hate to break it to you, but a #3 starter *is* the ceiling for any Phillies pitching prospect.

Almost every true #1 or 2 starter in baseball was a top twenty prospect at some time or another.

Think about it, Carrasco rates as the 18th best pitching prospect in B-Pro (which is higher than others)...there are not 17 or 18 1 and 2 starters in each prospect year, maybe 5 to 10.

If any of the Phillies pitching prospects turn into A.J. Burnett or Joe Blanton, we should thank our lucky stars.

"It will really disgust me if Lohse gets signed for a 2-yr/$15-18 M deal though. Where is the downside for the Phils in a deal like that (besides a potential hit on the profit side which will be covered if they make the playoffs again)."

Ditto. Only adding that they are not making real cheddar as net profit anyway, only staying away from added debt. Debt on an asset that has appreciated, what, 400 mil at least?
/Morty

Tray:

also agreed.
/morty

Brad Harman: Now 22, it took him 2 years to master A ball. His glove is average, but his bat is interesting, although he strikes out too much. If he can carry his FSL hitting into AA, he's got a chance. But if it takes him 2 years to master AA, he'll probably end up a fringe player at best.

Drew Naylor: When looking at players in the low minors, age is more important than the stats. At age 21, Naylor was one of the older members of the low A NY-Penn League. I love his K/BB ratio, but we really need to see him in Lakewood and Clearwater at this age. Supposedly he's got good command of 4 pitches, but his stuff is average. Impossible to tell on guys like this until they get a full year of AA.

Andy: The family that shoots up together, stays together.

Off topic, but:

This being the last season of both Yankee Stadium and Shea, this is a road trip well worthwhile. Myself, and another beerleaguer will be attending with 2 friends.

July 23rd. 1PM Twins @ Yanks, followed by 7PM PHILS @ Mets. If you're going to make a trip this year, this is the day to do it.

Also off topic, but has everybody heard about the Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz lesbian sex scene in Woody Allen's new movie? That has much more potential than Ped-ro Feliz's upcoming season, no?
/Morty

Morty - That is my point though. We are discussing guys like Burnett and Blanton. That is pretty much just speculation and that about a zero chance of actually happening.

Lohse is still available and would be an upgrade to this rotation. In fact, I would argue Lohse would be a significant upgrade because he is likely to give the Phils solid numbers (say ERA of 4.50) out of the No. 5 spot and stay healthy. No way Durbin or Eaton will do that. Plus, it is not exactly like the Phils have a surplus of arms to put out in the pen right now either.

With some moves and if Lohse can be signed for a lowball deal ($7-$8M), the Phils wouldn't have to sign on to add any debt to play Lohse's salary this year.

Lohse is going to be pretty desperate to sign before spring training starts. In fact, I bet that Lohse gets signed by this time next week. I just hope the Phils don't pass on him if he can be had for a 2-yr deal.

Last rant on signing Lohse:

- The Phils made the playoffs last year by a razor-thin margin and missed the playoffs by razor-thin margins in '05 (1 game) and '06 (3 game) too. Does Lohse improve the Phils by 5 games - No way.

I do bet Lohse though add to the Phils win total by 1 or 2 games instead of the likes of Eaton/Durbin/Pitcher X (who will be up by June).

MG~

I agree. And if what we read from Buster Olney in regards to Loshe's chances of signing with the Mets is true, It appears that the Phils are his best bet. The Phils need to go get both he and Benson. That would make the Phils off-season very sucessful IMO.

Brad Harman is the one to watch. He hit .321 in the second half in the FSL;.344 in the FSL playoff; .275 in the World Cup in Nov. and .440 in the Aussie tournament. And during this time he has hit 15 homers. He just turned 22 in Nov.

Wow, it looks like either Clout or Andy actually paid good money to sponsor Pedro Feliz's website at baseballreference.com:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/f/felizpe01.shtml

b-a-p: not us; a Giants fan.

Follow the link; it has great information about El Senor .288.

clout - full agreement on Naylor. If he has a season at AA like he had in 2007 at Williamsport, we might actually be growing one of those elusive 3s.

Chances of that, of course, are (to use your favorite word) remote.

On the Clemens clan -
How about:

The family that shots up together, "grows" together.

DPatrone - I agree. If the Phils signed Lohse to take the No. 5 starter and sign Benson to stash him away while he builds up strength, then this would have been a decent offseason.

I still think the Phils chances of signing Lohse are almost nonexistant though. They just aren't willing to add an additional $7-$8 M let alone anything more than that.

Rosenthal was just on 610 WIP. I completely disagree with a number of his assertions including:

1. The Phils would be better off signing Benson than Lohse (while signing almost any starting pitcher would be a plus I just don't see how Benson is going to be ready to start in April. If he is, Benson would have made pretty remarkable medical progress for a pitcher coming off torn labrum surgery.)

2. Braves have the best starting pitching in the NL East mainly because of their depth (not if the Mets sign Lohse and I would take the Mets rotation any day of the week right now over the Braves or Phils starting rotations)

3. The wildcard will come of the NL East. (Sorry. Just like last season, I bet the wildcard is going to come out of the NL West again and this is bad news for the Phils.)

I agree 100% get Lohse and Benson.

Word is Forsberg deal is done - 2 years at $1.3 million/year plus incentives. Flyers have been stocking up on "supplies" for Forsberg, not sure what that means.

Hey Tim,

I'm all amped up for one last KNISH at Shea!
Can't wait to say goodbye to one one of baseball's last worst stadiums!

Rosenthal is a hack.

Because Australia does not have the broad based College game that we do in the states, prospects do not have the same levels of
competition.

Taking another year or two in the minors does not mean an Australian prospect is less talented, (the prospect still may or may not
make it) after a bit more time in the minors,
much like a HS prospect.

Ken Rosenthal is awesome. He should now be considered of the same ilk as Jayson Stark and Peter Gammons. Rosenthal has almost single-handedly put FoxSports MLB on the map.

MG I happen to agree with Rosenthal on one out of three.

I must once again quote our good friend Bill James from his 1988 Abstract:

Primer #10:

"When a team improves sharply one season, they will almost always decline in the next."


That does not bode well for both the Dbacks and the Rocks.

It would not surprise me if both of those teams regressed.

The Dbacks 2007 run differential has been analyzed extensively on this blog, so I won't repeat the obvious.

The Rockies, IMO, got unusually hot last season at the right time, and were exposed in the WS.

Feel free to disagree, but IMO, neither of those teams is a lock to make the playoffs, despite the addition of Haren in Arizona.

AWH: I agree with you on the Rockies, disagree on D'backs. Assuming they stay healthy of course. But they will have a small regression: I think the Dodgers are a better team.

One guarantee: The Wild Card will come from the West.

I don't think any team in baseball besides the Red Sox and/or Yankees are a lock to make the playoffs.

In the AL East the BoSox and Yanks will fight for top honors, but the Blue Jays and decent the Rays are improving (not that they'll challenge for a playoff spot though). Baltimore is a joke.

AL Central- the Indians and Tigers are both solid and the ChiSox and Twins will still likely be competitive. The Royals are heading in the right direction, but still have a lot of room to make up.

AL West- Angels are very good, but so are the Mariners. Texas and Oakland don't stand a chance.

NL East- the Phils, Mets, and Braves will all vie for the division. Marlins and Nats are an afterthought.

NL Central- Cubs and Brewers are the favorites, but I say watch out for the Reds and Astros. Poor Buccos are horrid and the Cardinals are thin in too many places.

NL West- Dbacks, Dodgers, Padres, and Rox are all quality teams...and then there's the Giants who suck.

MG: I disagree with all 3 statements by Rosenthal, but 2 of them are really just opinion and can't be proven either way with stats. But his assertion that the Braves have the best starting pitching in the East is just mind-blowing. It is the biggest potential weakness of that team. If that statemnent turns out to be true, the Braves will win the division by 5 games because their offense is just about on par with the Phillies (again assuming no injuries).

The rotation is Smoltz, a true ace, Hudson, maybe the best #2 in the division and then a big dropoff: Glavine is just average at this stage of his career; Chuck James has a slight tear in his rotator cuff and they don't have a real #5, although they hope one of their kids, like Jurrjens or Reyes, can beat out the awful Buddy Carlyle.

If James can't pitch thru his injury and none of the kids steps up at #5, the back end of the Braves rotation will be worse than the Phillies.

Had Rosenthal said the Braves BULLPEN is best in the East, I would agree. Their bullpen has a chance to be spectacular when Gonzalez is done with rehab by midseason: Gonzalez, Moylan & Soriano at the back end; Yates and Acosta for the 6th & 7th and Ohman as LOOGY. Plus they have a couple of promising kids (Royce Ring & Blaine Boyer) who could easily push aside Yates or become the 7th man in the pen.

Carson,

Agree with you on the NL East and AL East, NL West and AL West. I think we will see a regression by the Rockies (they're starting pitching is thin compared to the other teams). I think the NL West will come down to the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, who both have the best pitching in the division (and arguably the league as well). Dodgers have a better offense though I think. But considering that all 4 teams out there have significant strengths (Pads, Dbacks, and Dodgers all have pitching, Rox have a great offense), I think it'll come down to the wire again.

As for the AL central, Twins won't compete for the division or a playoff spot. They've lost Hunter, Silva, and Santana, and those holes haven't been filled. That's 2/5 of their starting rotation and they have to hope Liriano returns to full form. Chisox have improved their number 1 problem, offense, but I still think they need better pitching.

NL Central: Astros have a decent lineup but thin pitching. It's Oswalt, Rodriguez, Backe, Williams, and Sampson. Both Rodriguez and Backe are career 4.5-4.6 ERA pitchers, they're 4/5 guys, not 2/3 guys. Williams also pitched very poorly last year and is older than the Rock of Gibraltar. Sampson's 30 years old and has only spent last year starting with any regularity. Bullpen is Valverde, Brocail, Geary, Villareal, Borkowski, and whoever makes it from spring training. Brocail had a career year pitching for the Padres, Borkowski's a poor reliever, Villareal seems decent but he's a career 4.00 ERA reliever pitching with the Braves (expect that to go up), and Valverde's probably a downgrade from Lidge. Any injuries to this group at all and the Astros are in serious trouble, they have even less depth than the Phillies with pitching. Reds have the same problems.

I don't think CHC and MIL has much to worry about. Bottom line, HOU and CIN can compete if they don't suffer injuries, but even then they don't have the horses to run with MIL and CHC. MIL and CHC both have better lineups and rotations.

It seems to me that when you have a division that playes each other so many times during season and they are equal as like the dodgers, Arizona, and colorado that they will be knocking each other off. This also goes for the Phils, Mets, and Braves. Its then possible that a central division team can then make the playoffs. (cincinnatti) Cubs will be strong and not too sure about Milwaukee or StLouis.

Blackley and Harman were playing down here in the Claxton Shield. Australia's top baseball tournament. With some game time under the belt they should be primed for spring training.

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